Tuesday, September 19, 2006

one day at a time

Well, I guess I'll make this a day in the life of a prison mom. Actually, it's a day I've decided to voluntarily go back into the local prison. I know I must be nuts. I just got an e-mail from the women's chaplain, and I'm going to be sent an application to sign up for volunteer programs. That might include just being there to assist the chaplain, mentoring a woman, leading Bible studies-all things I've done on the outside and would never have thought to do in a prison. So, I promised a day in the life, and this is it. The prison system never, ever leaves my mind. Our plans this weekend revolve around trying to fit in the 8 hour travel to see my son, plus juggle the plans of two daughters, one in from college. They want to go see their brother, but they also want to go camping with friends and we have a baby shower to attend. We had to cancel our usual church routine to accommodate them and ourselves, and our son, and ditch the camping as well. Whew. Sounds pretty normal, anyway, but our normal is one member of this family over 200 miles away for several years, period.

My day has also included preparing for an art show that is coming up in a few weeks. I know the weekend is full, so I have to work my time around my days home from our business. It should be happy and fun preparing for this show, and my portraits for it are purposely playful and extremely colorful. So I decided to forego the usual neutral mats and framing, and find something that matches perfectly with the two remaining pieces I have. I went to visit Irene, my moll at the local art supply place, who gets me stuff cheap. Irene is such a peach, and I could not remember her name when I went in. But she spent probably 20 minutes with me, pulling out a rainbow of colored mats to lay up against each piece. I finally selected an intense blue-violet that just made my work sing. It was good to spend time with Irene and not my own thoughts. I began to get excited at the thought of cutting the mats and seeing how cool they'd look. I also unwrapped a cd I bought a week before and never took the time to open and listen. Soon some crazy Latin dance music was assisting me in the mood department! My mat color was perfect as it could be.

I plopped down to do some e-mailing and answer messages. I had to return a friend's phone call, and it was good to hear her voice. I have begun to accept recently that everything is as it should be. I have to work accept that when you are trying to follow God, things do work out for the good-for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Sometimes I struggle with the purpose part. Disparate chunks of day that pass by, moments where I feel alone and wonder why, and then the reminder that if I am truly called, I'm living my day with purpose. Another thing I've come to realize is that I need the music, the color, the friendly voices and messages. The operative word there is NEED. It's not optional for anyone, but especially a prison mom. It's like I have a constant drain that leaks out strength and joy, and those things fill me back up.

I'm anxious to see my son, and my older daughter is due home any minute needing help with a sewing project-a gift for her best friend's new baby. It was good to hear her tell me last night, "Mom, I finally understand how you felt about always cleaning up after me when I lived at home. My roommate is a pig, and I have to do the same thing for her. Thanks so much-is there anything I can do to help you?" That was a heart attack in the ready! So today the house is clean, and I've got sewing and painting on the agenda, and thanking God for blessings large and small. I'll make it, one day at a time.


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